January 06, 2011

Obstacle One: Other Brides

I'm sorry to say that my first nasty wedding-planning surprise was other brides.  I'm not sure if it's the stress of planning their own weddings, or the crazy-pills every one of the bride's family members suddenly start taking the day she gets engaged that pushes them over the edge, or something else that I have yet to personally experience, but brides are fucking nuts.

Unless you want to count doing the flower-girl bit for my mother's friend when I was a kid, I have never been personally involved in a wedding.  I have been TO many weddings, but never behind the scenes.  This left me wide open for the shock of finding out that weddings make people crazy.  Suddenly perfectly normal, reasonable women are sniping at each other over the size, cut and quality of each other's diamonds.  Clueless girls who probably got their dishware at IKEA during college (like I did) are suddenly experts on china patterns and charger plates.  The newly-engaged forget that their engaged is newly, and look down with pity on those still waiting.

I am on my third bridal forum.  And that is after spying on several others without signing up.  Believe it or not, the story (while overall pretty much the same) is dramatically different from board to board.  The first one was elitist and boring.  The next was catty and seriously difficult to navigate.  The one I'm on now is a bit welcome-to-happy-funland-where-brides-are-made-of-marshmallows, but it's the one I've liked the best and feel most comfortable at, and so decided to call home in spite of its few grating deficiencies.  But even here, where people who ask for honest, helpful opinions actually GET them (imagine that!) and people who need support are *hugged* and <3ed until they're sorry they asked, there are still those few that stir up trouble just because they can.  Which is super fun for me, because I love to give a girl a party if she wants one, but that's besides the point.  The point is, why are you such a bitch just because some dude wants to marry you?  It's amazing.  I've never seen anything like it.  And I'm sure these people were perfectly normal before they got that ring.  It's like DeBeers paints their merchandise with something that seeps into the skin and makes brides think that just because they're a bride and they're upset, they're right.

I'm at a loss in situations like these.  Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm the only sane bride on earth.  Because you can't just say what you really think to these women without them cracking, or without their armada of like-minded crazies storming your beach.  But I can't be the only one thinking it.  Right?  Please tell me I'm not.

There are also real-life other brides.  The thing about getting married is, most people do it around the same time.  The so-called "marriageable age".  This "marriageable age" situation means that I am surrounded by other brides.  A bunch of my friends are married, another bunch are engaged, and some are ravenously hunting, going to bar after bar, laughing really loudly at some guy's joke so that they can hear themselves over the ticking of their biological clocks.  (Not really, I don't actually know any people like that last group, but that's how it is in movies).  Real-life other brides are kind of a pain in the ass too - a friend of mine got engaged a few months after me, and after NOT congratulating me on my own engagement, she sent me a personal text message to advise me of hers in an obvious complement-fishing cast.  It's all about the thunder, and brides care more about who's stealing theirs than anyone else.

A coworker friend of mine has been engaged for something like 50 years or whatever, and she's just now decided to get married, right around the same time as me.  She is a breath of fresh air.  She's also not one of those obnoxious people that only asks me about my wedding plans when she actually wants to talk about her own, which is freaking awesome.  She's a sweetheart and I love her.  But in spite of that, you just know that if she actually comes dress shopping with me like she offered, she'll be secretly comparing whatever I'm wearing to her own dress.  "Omg her dress is so much more expensive than mine!" or "Ew, mermaid is sooo not my thing, mine is way prettier than that."  She's (fortunately) not the type of girl to give me anything but an honest opinion, so I'll probably take her up on her offer, but I will still be worried about whether what I'm getting is making her feel worse about what she got.  Or better - maybe she'll be even more excited about her own choice when she relives it in the salon with me.  Or worse - maybe she'll go out and buy another dress to show me up.  Who knows.  Because once you put a ring on a girl, she's no longer who you thought she was.  Predictability is the first thing to go.

I ask my fiancé for constant validation that I am not turning into an unrecognizable, raving lunatic.  He assures me that I am the same raving lunatic that I always was.  <3


  1. Great post! So true!!!

    Some of the wedding boards are brutal. I love wedding buzz, wedding bee, project wedding, and wedding wire forums though.

  2. I like online forums in general, and right now it just makes sense to be at the wedding ones. As much as I joke in my post, most forums are pretty much the same - as are brides, online or otherwise. ;)

  3. Quick update: I did take my work-friend dress shopping with me, and she was even way more amazing than I could have hoped. She is definitely my official dress-shopping friend from here on out.